On weekends, I will often pile the family in the car with grumbling tummies and drive to the Punjabi market for piping hot Indian samosas. When we hungrily open the oil-spotted paper bags, the most delicious steam drifts out, heady with cumin, buttery potatoes and fried pastry. We eat them greedily in the car, where they flake all over us and the seats, and drips of sticky tamarind chutney roll down our chins.
Samosas are one of my favourite snacks, and the excursion is one of my favourite rainy-Saturday things to do.
Making the delicious little parcels from scratch is a bit of an endeavour, though, when you start with finicky homemade pastry and that you then need to deep fry.
So today, we’re taking an awesome shortcut with puff pastry!
I’m super excited to be part of the Tenderflake Test Kitchen. I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having coming up with puff pastry recipes (and I have no idea why I hadn’t thought of puff pastry samosas before!).
I always have a box in the freezer for quick appies (like this easy Squash, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Tart), a favourite dinner pie, or an almost-effortless, stress-free dessert (like these insanely-yummy Cherry-Cheese Turnovers with almond icing).
Frozen puff pastry such a great shortcut to impressive and delicious, eliminating the time and uncertainty factor involved in making pastry from scratch. I’m seriously never without it.
Tenderflake promises the flakiest pastry every time, and these samosas certainly back it up. They are super easy to make, but I’ll walk you through it.
The first thing we have to do is defrost the pastry – I do this in the fridge overnight, but it’ll thaw at room temperature in about 30 minutes.
Then we make the potato filling. While it’s cooling, we prepare the dough.
Working with one sheet at a time, we roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface and make circles (I just traced around a bowl with a knife). Then we transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for a few minutes.
Next we poke-poke-poke-poke some holes to let the steam escape. And we cut the circles in half.
A scoop of filling goes on each half-circle, then the pastry is folded around it.
Glue it shut with a light touch of egg wash.
And into the oven they go! In 15 minutes or so you will have beautiful, golden, flaky samosas.
They are golden, buttery, flaky and light, making it easy to scarf down a dozen of them straight from the oven.
Which we did.
Many, many times.
Make a double batch if you’re serving a crowd, because they will likely only last 15 seconds. Serve hot with sticky tamarind or mango chutney.
And if you haven’t gotten your samosa fix, the dinner pie I linked to earlier is actually my Samosa Pie (everyone who tries it totally loves it).
Flaky (Shortcut!) Samosas
- 1 large russet potato about 1 lb, peeled and chopped
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsp finely chopped jalapeno
- 2 tsp finely grated ginger packed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 box Tenderflake puff pastry thawed
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
- Tamarind or mango chutney for serving
- To start, defrost the puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator, or at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Cover the potato with 1" of water in a medium saucepan. Cook until tender, then drain in a colander and coarsely mash it with a fork. Set aside.
- Return saucepan to medium heat and melt the butter. Add onion and cook about 6 minutes, until translucent and just starting to brown.
- Add jalapeño and ginger, cook a minute more, then stir in the spices and salt. After about 30 seconds (when spices smell aromatic) add mashed potato, frozen peas and cilantro; stir until well combined, then transfer to the fridge to cool.
- While the filling cools, line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Grab the first piece of dough from the box and roll it into a square of about 13x13" on a lightly floured surface.
- Take a bowl that's about 6" diameter and flip it over to make a circle template. Using a sharp knife, trace around the outside of the overturned bowl to make your 4 pastry circles. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, and place in the freezer while you repeat this process with the second square of puff pastry dough. Once you've made four more circles, transfer them to the second baking sheet, put that one in the freezer, and remove the first sheet.
- Prick pastry several times with a fork, then cut the circles in half (a bench scraper does the trick nicely, but so will a sharp knife). Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto bottom half of each half-circle.
- Brush very lightly with egg wash all around the edges, then fold over and press down firmly to seal. Chill the samosas in the freezer while you repeat the filling process with the second batch. (And if at any point the dough is becoming too soft while you're working, simply pop the whole baking sheet back in the freezer for a few minutes.)
- When all the samosas are filled, brush them all over with egg wash, and arrange on a single large baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving (with chutney for dipping!).